Pujols’s decision was about money not commitment

Albert Pujols made a great business decision when he decided to sign a 10 year $254 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He not only received an extra $44 million than he would have if he were to sign with the Cardinals but he also was able to go to a much more marketable area where superstars long to thrive in. So I say way to go Albert, you brought in much more money than the Cardinals had offered. That is what you wanted, wasn’t it?
“To tell you the truth, it wasn’t about the money,” Pujols insisted. “I’m going to die saying that, because it wasn’t about the money. It was about the commitment.”
I must have had a bad satellite reception at home while watching this press conference because he certainly did not say that this decision was about commitment. I cannot fathom how Pujols can say that the decision was based around commitment when the Cardinals have dedicated themselves to Pujols for more than a decade, and the Angels had been in contact for less than 48 hours. After years of overwhelming support that this community has given Pujols, and our devotion to every action he made, he was willing to walk out on the all of that, because of what apparently was considered stronger “commitment” by Arte Moreno and the Angels organization. Pujols must have been blinded by the crafty wording of Moreno in their phone conversation following the news that the Marlins had decided to cut off negotiations with Pujols, because he has forgotten that this is a business involves both giving and taking. I’m not sure that Pujols realizes all of the things the Cardinals have done for him over all of these years. The Cardinals were the ones who took a chance on Pujols when he was an overlooked kid who many teams thought was not even worth drafting. They gave him a long term deal based on a few productive seasons, and took in the risk that he would at least stay as productive as he was at time. The Cardinals have proven their commitment to win by being active in acquiring new talent that would surround him, for example the acquisition of Matt Holliday in 2009 and the additions of Rafael Furcal and Octavio Dotel which helped to propel the Cardinals to another World Series Title. They also did what in my opinion is absolutely absurd by offering him a 10 year contract despite coming off career lows in batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage and runs batted in. Not to mention that he is going to be 32 heading into next season and has a history of minor injuries. Now, what has Pujols done to mirror his commitment to the city that he claims he wanted to stay in for life? Let us not overlook the fact that he has brought us fabulous baseball for 11 years now and has been a joy to watch for all Cardinal fans. Some may think that playing good ball is all that Albert has to do in order to show his commitment to the Cardinals but I have a hard time understanding why someone so passionate about staying has the nerve to do the things he did. While trying to negotiate a contract with the Cardinals in the spring of 2010, he and his agent Dan Lozano said that they were wanting a contract of 10 years at $300 million dollars. That is hardly a bargain price for your home town team. Some of you may be thinking that Albert shouldn’t have to give a bargain price for his home town team but what you all are forgetting is that “it wasn’t about the money.” After negotiations stalled, Pujols and Lozano cut off all talks of structuring a contract because Pujols didn’t want to be distracted from his on the field performance. I understand wanting to focus on playing baseball but if Pujols was as committed as many thought he was to staying, he would have found a way to get a deal done. Is Albert also forgetting that in order to win championships you must have enough money to support an entire team? If he wanted to win more championships, you would think that he would maybe allow for more money to have been spent on other pieces of the Cardinals franchise rather than suck all the cash down himself.
In many ways I am angry and saddened by the departure of Pujols but I would say most of all I am confused. I still don’t understand how the decision was not about the money and until Pujols can explain how the Cardinals were not committed to him throughout his career and ready to commit for another 10 years, I will remain confused. Of course I still will watch Albert and smile when I see that familiar clobbering of the baseball and that infamous strut as he begins his trot to first after watching it fly into the stands. Hope that you have a long and prosperous career out in Anaheim, and that you make the same charitable imapct on the community out there as you have here. Maybe someday I will understand that Albert Pujol$, was never about the money.